Tournaments were invented in France sometime around the eleventh century. These were a form of training in the usage of weapons and horses. They quickly transformed into an organized event with rules and an elaborate display of skill and appearance. Knights who were looking for a way to show their prowess would travel around Europe and fight in these tournaments. Heralds would regulate heraldry and record arms, and eventually the rules of heraldry became "formalized and regulated, to be handed down from generation to generation in the European kingdoms" (Woodcock & Robinson, 1988, p. 14).
The use of arms spread through Europe and the appearances and customs started to vary as they spread to different countries. The number of crests displayed over a shield increased when in Germanic countries, while in Holland, England, and Scotland the use of only one crest was commonplace. The use of a crest in France died out completely as time went on. Other differences included a different selection of colors that were used, the varying use of mottoes, and the use of supporters.